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Continuity of the North Qilian and North Altun orogenic belts of NW China: evidence from newly discovered Palaeozoic low-Mg and high-Mg adakitic rocks

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  27 July 2017

SHENG-YAO YU*
Affiliation:
Key Lab of Submarine Geosciences and Prospecting Techniques, MOE and College of Marine Geology, Ocean University of China, Qingdao 266100, China Laboratory for Marine Geology, Qingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology, Qingdao 266061, China College of Earth Sciences, Jilin University, Changchun 130061, China
JIAN-XIN ZHANG
Affiliation:
Institute of Geology, Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences, Beijing 100037, China
SAN-ZHONG LI
Affiliation:
Key Lab of Submarine Geosciences and Prospecting Techniques, MOE and College of Marine Geology, Ocean University of China, Qingdao 266100, China Laboratory for Marine Geology, Qingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology, Qingdao 266061, China
DE-YOU SUN
Affiliation:
College of Earth Sciences, Jilin University, Changchun 130061, China
YIN-BIAO PENG
Affiliation:
Institute of Geology, Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences, Beijing 100037, China
XI-LIN ZHAO
Affiliation:
Nanjing Centre, China Geological Survey, Nanjing 210016, China
*
Author for correspondence: yushengyao1981@163.com

Abstract

In this study, the petrology, zircon U–Pb ages, Lu–Hf isotopic compositions, whole-rock geochemistry and Sr–Nd isotopes for newly recognized low-Mg and high-Mg adakitic rocks from the North Altun orogenic belt were determined. The results will provide important insights for understanding the continuities of the North Qilian and North Altun orogenic belts during early Palaeozoic time. The low-Mg adakitic granitoids (445 to 439 Ma) are characterized by high SiO2 (69–70 wt %), low Mg no. (43–48) and low Cr and Ni contents. In contrast, the high-Mg adakitic granitoids (425 to 422 Ma) have relatively lower SiO2 (65–67 wt %), higher Mg no. (60–62) and higher Cr and Ni contents. The low-Mg adakitic rocks have high initial 87Sr/86Sr ratios (0.7073–0.7084), negative εNd(t) (−1.9 to −4.0) and εHf(t) values (−6.8 to −2.0), and old zircon Hf model ages (1.4–1.7 Ga). In contrast, the high-Mg adakitic rocks show lower initial 87Sr/86Sr ratios (0.7044–0.7057), higher εNd(t) (−0.7 to 3.1) and positive εHf(t) values (2.0 to 6.9), with younger zircon Hf model ages (0.9–1.2 Ga). These results suggest that the low-Mg adakitic rocks were probably generated by the partial melting of thickened crust, whereas the high-Mg adakitic rocks were derived from the anatexis of delaminated lower crust, which subsequently interacted with mantle magma upon ascent. The data obtained in this study provide significant information about the geological and tectonic processes after the closure of the Altun Ocean. The continent–continent collision and thickening probably occurred during 450–440 Ma with the formation of low-Mg adakitic rocks, and the transition of the tectonic regime from compression to extension probably occurred at 425–422 Ma with the formation of high-Mg adakitic rocks. The geochemical, geochronological and petrogenetic similarities between the North Altun and North Qilian adakitic rocks suggest that these two orogenic belts were subjected to similar tectonomagmatic processes during early Palaeozoic times.

Type
Original Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2017 

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Continuity of the North Qilian and North Altun orogenic belts of NW China: evidence from newly discovered Palaeozoic low-Mg and high-Mg adakitic rocks
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